Friday, May 26, 2017

Stuffed Roast Chicken With Rosemary And Lemon Thyme

It has been a long time since I last roasted a whole chicken. I would normally roast either wings or half chicken or sometimes just chicken legs for our dinner. Yesterday , I decided to roast the whole chicken and stuffed the cavity with leeks, diced carrots and diced potatoes. The drippings from the chicken during the process of roasting will further add flavor and sweeten the veggies stuffing.  Easy to prepare and as the saying goes " killing two birds with one stone "  we have meat and veggies cooked at one go :) 

It feels like Christmas has come early.  The seasoning consists of ingredients like sea salt , black pepper and raw honey. For extra flavors,  I added fresh herbs like rosemary, lemon thyme to give texture and fragrance to the chicken and butter on the chicken to give it a glaze look after roasting. It is good to marinate the chicken overnight to have a more intense flavor.  I used greaseproof paper to line the base of the baking pan for easy washing :)  Nobody likes the washing, that includes me :p I love to cook but I hate all the washing that comes with the cooking !

I baked the leeks, diced carrots and potatoes for 15 mins in the oven @200C
before stuffing into the cavity of the chicken..reason being it helps to soften
and gives extra flavor and with the drippings from the chicken, the veggies
stuffing will taste delicious !

this is the reason why I love to plant my own herbs, I use them often :)

stuff the cavity with the roasted veggies last
place the chicken on a rack with a lined tray and roast for
50-55 mins @200C

Hubby loves the skin to be crispy and a bit charred
and the fat under the skin has melted away....

rest the chicken for 15 mins before carving
smell so good...

I craved out half the breast for the hubby before taking a picture
this photo is not well taken as the carved side, texture is not clearly defined ...
still room for improvement... food photography is the hardest I guess for me :p

Stuffed Roast Chicken With Rosemary  And Lemon Thyme 


1 whole medium sized chicken of your choice

seasoning for the marinating the chicken
1/2 tbsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp of raw honey
a few sprig of lemon thyme
a sprig of rosemary
a tbsp of butter - room temperature 

veggies stuffing
1 carrot - diced to bite sized
1 leek - sliced
2 potato - diced to bite sized black pepper
a tsp of sea salt
a dash of ground black pepper

* bake the cut veggies in oven for  15 mins before stuffing into the chicken


Marinate chicken overnight or for at least 4 hours with ingredients (A). Roast the cut veggies for 15 mins @200C . Take the chicken out of the fridge 1 hour before roasting, Rub ingredients (B) all over the chicken and spread butter all over the chicken.  Stuff the roasted veggies into the cavity of the chicken . Place the stuffed chicken on a rack on  a lined baking tray and roast for 50-55 mins @200C. Rest roasted chicken for 15 mins before carving.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bittergourd Egg Rolled Omelette

My all time favourite melon..the bittergourd . Since I love it so much, I decided to plant my own bittergourd plant so that I can have it all round the year.  Nothing beats homegrown edibles and homecooked.  I promised myself that after retirement, I must do this and I have achieved many things thus far including planting my own edibles.  I harvested many bittergourd since planting them this year.  There are many ways to cook bittergourd ( you can check my recipe index for ideas on how to cook them and this is my lastest recipe using homegrown bittergourd.  Making them into rolled omelette is another way of cooking bittergourd. Love it and this is one way to make my 'Wildboar' eat bittergourd...just kidding, this will appeal much to kids too.  Homegrown ones are not that bitterish , or maybe it is the homemade fertiliser that made it less bitterish.  This is just my silly assumption of course.  Anyway,  it tasted so good that I have requests from the WB to make more next time. After cooking them in omelette, it still have a slight crunch to it as you bite into the omelette.  Great rolled omelette for the family, firstly it taste good, secondly it gives a great presentation when serving.  Especially if you have guests for dinner. Thirdly kids will go for it,believe me :)   Back to the recipe, I used the same recipe as Korean egg rolled omelette . Instead of using the spring onions, diced carrots, I used bittergourd . The rest of the ingredients are the same..method too :) I love this rectangular pan from Daiso so much. It really serves its purpose.

love this rectantular pan to bits, will get another spare one 
on my next trip to Daiso

it looks complicated but after a few tries, you will be a pro for sure :p

let the rolled omelette cooled down a bit before cutting them with a sharp knife

Bittergourd Rolled Omelette

5 eggs - whisk and sieve
bittergourd - diced into bit sized
1 tbsp of diced red onions
a shake of white pepper
a tsp of  sea salt 
rice bran oil for greasing the pan
1. Beat up the eggs  in a bowl and  sieve it.  Add in ingredients (A) to the sieved egg . Give it a quick stir to make sure the ingredients are all well combined.
2. Heat a non-stick rectangular pan or round skillet over medium high heat; add oil and swipe with a paper towel to apply oil as thin as possible.
3.  When pan is hot, pour a ladleful of egg mixture to cover the whole pan, once the egg mixture has lightly set, gently fold over and as you keep folding, shape into square, once you finish rolling, push to one end of pan,  add 3/4 ladle of egg mixture to cover the pan and reduce heat . Make sure uncooked egg mixture’s attached to the first batch of egg roll.
4. Repeat twice more with rest of uncooked egg mixture. 
5.. Remove from heat and let the rolled omelette rest in skillet for about 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Slice into 3/4” wide bite size pieces and serve .

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Penang Otak Otak

  Hubby has been asking for Otak Otak. I told him I will make for him when I am back in Ipoh . I made for him many years ago but I have forgotten the ingredients required to make otak otak , so I googled for Alan's recipe. I know he had posted one some years back.  Found the recipe on his blog, bookmarked it and as soon I was well rested, I deliver what I promised him . You can hop over to Alan's post for a more informative write out about this Penang Otak Otak.

I had a great time making the otak otak the hubby desired :)  Even though it involved a bit of hardwork , it was worth it when the hubby keep saying " this is so good , keep the recipe and make sure you  stick back to this recipe when you next make this dish again "   Wow...that is the most authoritative instruction given out for the day :) I do not have banana leaves so I steamed the otak otak in ramekins.

I thank God for some of the herbs needed for making otak otak are growing well in my lil space.  I have turmeric, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, daun kadok in my lil space.  Love this  lil space of mine . When I am away, I have to keep texting hubby to water the plants for me :p  I dont send him love notes but text him to remember to love my plants LOL!  Or he can forget his Otak Otak!


rempah for the otak otak has to be pounded or blended to a fine paste

I used Snapper or Ikan Merah and sliced them thinly

 the fish slices are marinated are with the custard paste and rempah 
best to marinate overnight for a more intense flavor

since I used ramekins , I lined the base of the ramekins with daun kadok,
then fill the ramekins with the marinated otak fillings

these are ready for the steamer

 these are just out of the steamer and ready to be served
( Happy Father's Day )
early celebration hahaha ...any excuse to have a good meal :)

subtly reminding him Mother's Day is just a week away :p

the otak filling has a smooth texture
and every mouthful is bursting with flavors!

Penang Otak Otak - adapted from Alan

If using banana leaves - refer to Alan's post on how to wrap the otak otak filling with banana leaves

 20-30 pieces of daun kadok - to lined the ramekins

For the custard paste
500g of fresh fish meat, Snapper or other white fish varieties, cut into small chunks
250 ml thick coconut milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 heaped tbsp of rice flour
6-8 kaffir lime leaves ( daun purut limau ), finely julienned 

1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

For the rempah
15 shallots, peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
5-6 fresh red chilies, deseeded and sliced (for more heat, leave the seeds on)
10-12 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water until soften and drained
thumb-length knob galangal , peeled and sliced finely
thumb-length knob of kunyit (tumeric), peeled and sliced finely
3 batons serai (lemongrass), lower white portion only, sliced finely
2 tsp of toasted belacan, crushed coarsely into powder


To prepare rempah, pound or blend all the ingredients into a fine paste.
To prepare otak filling, place all custard paste ingredients and rempah in a large bowl and mix well.
Cover the mixing bowl with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.


Lined the base of ramekins with  daun kadok- 4 pieces each ramekin
Fill the ramekins with the otak otak fillings .Cover top of ramekins with aluminium foil to prevent condensate from going into the otak otak while steaming. 
Steam the otak otak over rapidly boiling water and high heat for 10 -15 mins
Serve immediately with rice .


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Prawns Fritters

I fried some prawn fritters for my Wildboar as he can eat seafood because his cholesterol and blood pressure reading is good . So he can still enjoy some prawns ,unlike me, I have to be careful as I tend to over indulge where seafood is concerned :p His dad, my father-in-law made the most delicious prawn fritters but alas I did ask him for the recipe when he was alive.  So I have to guess how he did it.   I remembered he said something like 3 types of flour - rice flour, corn flour and all purpose flour, but the ratio of the flour I am in the dark.  I just simply add the ratio of 3 part all purpose flour, 2 parts rice flour and 1 part corn flour. I added 1 tsp of baking powder for a fluffier texture.  It turned out not bad, soft on the inside and crisps on the outside.  Nice !  I added chopped spring onions and chopped chillies for some heat and some Maggi chicken granules for taste. I did not measure the water, just add to the right consistency, not too watery neither too thick.  Added an egg too .  I guess this is an old fashion method of making the batter for the prawn fritters :) but on a healthier note as I fried them in a few tablespoons of rice bran oil in a non stick pan.  Anyway it taste good ( how I know coz I stole a piece to taste the texture of the batter ! ) and Wildboar loves it though it may differs a bit from his dad's preparation.  I kicked myself for not asking him to give me his exact recipe!!!

fresh sea prawns makes the best prawn fritters
smell good and have a firm texture

I add only just enough oil to make the prawn fritters as you can see
in the picture above.  The inside is soft and the edges are crispy
healthy way to fry prawn fritters

thai chilli sauce as dip for the prawn fritters

crisps edges, hubby loves it ! and that is all that matters :)

 Prawns Fritters


18 pieces of sea prawns - medium size , remove shells and deveined
marinate deveined prawns with 1 tsp sugar and a pinch of salt

150 gms of AP flour
100 gms  of rice flour
50 gms of corn flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of Maggi granules * to taste
2 tbsp of chopped spring onions
1 tsp of chopped 's eyes chillies
1 egg
water at room temp - add in slowly to the flour ingredients to make the right consistency

rice bran oil for frying the prawns fritter


Place ingredients (A) in a small bowl and give it a quick stir so that the ingredients are well mixed together- add in water slowly to flour mixture.  Add just enough water to get the right consistency. Leave the batter aside for 15 minutes before adding in the prawns .

Heat up just a few tablespoons of rice bran oil in a non-stick pan.  Once the oil is hot, scoop a small ladle of batter plus two prawns and gently place them on the pan, leave a space for the next scoop and repeat till the pan is filled with dollops of batter/prawns.  Once the bottom sides are crisps, turn them over and once the other side is brown, dish out and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat till all the batter and prawns are used up. Serve with chilli sauce of your choice.


Recording King Acoustic Guitar A Gift For WildBoar?

I am running out of ideas what to get for Wildboar comes this August.  His 58th birthday ! Still young and can still learn how to play the keyboard . We have been trying to get him to learn all the chords for the keyboard and I guess he takes longer to be good at it.  I am now thinking of getting him a better performing guitar for I  just discovered he can strum the guitar well. My boy left his guitar for his dad when he went to work in the Lion City. And since then this old Wildboar of mine has been playing with it since.  My son actually inherited the guitar from his grandpa , thus it is quite old and doesn't sound its best.  So I am now searching on line for a better one for him and maybe it will be a great idea to give a new guitar as his birthday pressie.  Should I or should I not ?

As usual Joe our music friend is very in favor of me getting one for WB as he thinks it will get him excited to jam out with them when they go music jamming over the weekends :)  I have done a search online and found this acoustic guitar which is quite affordable and since they are having a sale on and shipping service is available to me , it should be a great deal after all. If you guys are also looking for a good guitar , like this recording king, check it out at . You can view their wide range of acoustic guitars and pick one that you like.  Good news, they are having sale now.

I might get rid of the old one and replace a new one for my Wildboar.  For me I love photography, so upgrading to a better one is my dream.  LOL, gosh I may as well tell him to upgrade one for me instead of hinting all the time.   I love my camera just like he loves his keyboard and guitar.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bittergourd Salad With Wafu Dressing

If you are a bittergourd/bittermelon lover, you will surely love this salad.  I replicated the same salad which I had eaten at a Japanese restaurant in KL with my daughter. She recommended me this salad dish and after tasted it. I was head over heel in love with this dish and I told her I will replicate it for sure.  As we were eating it, we were trying to identify the ingredients used for the salad dressing. And bingo, my daughter got it is Wafu dressing ( japanese- style salad dressing ).  I came back googled for wafu dressing and Voila, she got it right.  It tasted exactly the same as the one which the one served at the Japanese restaurant. I could not contain my joy and I had to text my daughter   " Wow, its exactly the same as the one we ate at the restaurant...your wafu dressing is a spot on "  . I sensed her head swelling through the phone LOL!  My daughter JO is a great taster and she can guess the ingredients faster than me. A keeper for sure and I shall be eating this often as I have my own homegrown plant to supply me endless bittergourd.

This is one healthy and delicious salad that I would like to share with my readers .  Bittergourd has lots of health benefits and they are delicious in however you cooked them. Turning them into salad is a wonderful idea from the Japanese restaurant we went.  And thanking my daughter for introducing me this salad dish.  She is my bestie for sure.  We both love eating and replicating dishes from home :) And I don't nicknamed her Piggy JO for nothing LOL !

these are main ingredients used for making the salad

this is the Japanese Grain Vinegar I used in the making the
Wafu Dressing

wafu dressing ...a beautiful Japanese style salad dressing..a keeper for sure

I rested the wafu dressing for 20 mins before using them
as I feel the ingredients will have enough time to 'married to each other'
and gives the dressing a more flavorful one for this salad

after dressing the salad, garnish the top with bonito flakes and
some toasted wasabi flavored seaweed

this is a keeper for sure

Bittergourd Salad With Wafu Dressing


3 karela ( indian bittergourd )  
1 red onion- sliced thinly

bonito flakes
toasted wasabi flavored seaweeds

Wafu dressing - adapted from Just One Cookbook

1 tbsp of grated onion with juice
3 tbsp of vegetable oil * I used rice bran oil
3 tbsp of Japanese Soy Sauce
3 tbsp of rice vinegar * I used Japanese grain vinegar - it taste better
1 tbsp sugar
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds * I omitted coz I ran out of sesame seed

Put all the dressing ingredients above in a small bowl.  Whisk the ingredients together to create a perfect blend.  Leave it to rest for 20 mins to allow  a more intense flavor.

Prepare the karela ( bittergourd )
sliced thinly and season with salt to draws out bitterness and water. wipe dry with the kitchen paper towels.  Lay them on a salad plate together with the onion slices.  Drizzle the salad dressing over the bittergourd onion slices. Topped with bonito flakes and toasted wasabi flavored seaweeds.

Note:  I like it chilled. It taste better if chilled.  Can be served at room temperature.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oven Grilled Chicken Wings

It has been quite a while since the last time we had grilled wings.  I would normally roast half a chicken for the hubby but all of a sudden, we had a craving for wings.  BBQ wings would be great but then it involves too much work, setting up the charcoal grill would takes time  so we settled for oven grill :)   We went to collect a dozen pieces of chicken wings from our regular poultry supplier in the morning and have the wings marinated for half a day .  

I marinated the wings with the Japanese soy sauce which I bought from Daiso , this soy sauce has achocol in it and it smells good and it is not salty, just right for my taste bud.  So if you are a salty person, then you have to add a pinch of salt to the marinade. This is my first time trying out the soy sauce and I would say it is perfect as a marinade for the wings.  The marinade is made of the Japanese soy sauce, raw honey, white pepper and a tsp of local thick soy sauce.  The trick to a flavorful wings is to marinate the wings for at least half a day or best if overnight.  I am happy with the result, the wings were flavorful and the skin turned out crispy and the wings were juicy on the inside ...very well grilled. I ate two when I intended to eat only one :p   A simple and easy recipe, not much washing to do. I lined the tray with baking paper so that the drippings will drop onto the paper instead of the tray , which could make washing the tray difficult especially the burnt drippings :)

the steel skewers with rings are from Daiso too 

the remnants of the marinade sauce can be used for basting the
wings at every 15 minutes interval.

japanese soy sauce that was bought from Daiso
which contains achocol making it non-halal
we like it because it is not salty and smells good

oven grilled wings are tasty too next best to bbq wings
Hubby likes the wings to have burnt bits :)

Oven Grilled Chicken Wings 

 ingredients :-

6 pieces of chicken wings

marinade sauce - mix (A) together
2 tbsp of Japanese soy sauce
1 tsp of thick soy sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon of raw honey

1 tsp of salted butter to glaze the wings 


Mix the marinade sauce ingredients together till well combined.  Wash the chicken wings and dab dry the wings with paper towels .Rub the marinade sauce evenly on the wings.  Leave the wings to marinate for half a day or overnight in the fridge in a ziploc bag. To make sure the wings are evenly marinated, keep turning the ziploc bag  every hourly .

Preheat the oven to 200C . Skewer the wings and place them side by side on a wire tray with a lined drip pan .  Grill for 40 mins with top heat, basting and turning over the wings every 15 mins till the skin are crispy and golden brown. Brush on the wings 5 mins before taking out from the oven to give the wings a glazed look.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Dried Shrimps & Bacon Chips Fried Rice

Fried rice can be delicious if you add in stuff like bacon chips and dried shrimps :) My Wildboar loves dried shrimps added to his fried rice and knowing he is meat eater, I added in bacon chips for him too . I threw in some chopped bird's eye chillies for heat and you tell me whether this one dish meal is delish or not!  Sliced some homegrown spring onions and garnished the fried rice with the greens.  The red chillies and green onions gives colors to the fried rice and a feast for my camera :)

This  one dish meal  is often served on our dining table when I am busy with my gardening and baking.  When hubby sees baking in the kitchen , he knows dinner would be fried rice LOL!

fried rice can be so versatile that with just an egg added ,
 your fried rice can taste restaurant standard. I  used dried shrimps 
because hubby requested for it and bacon chips an added bonus for him :)

a one dish meal that is often served when I am busy 
with my baking and gardening :)

best to use rice that is overnight or cooked a few hours before frying

Dried Shrimps & Bacon Chips Fried Rice
( for 2 persons)


2 bowls of cooked rice

pound A together:
3 tbsp of dried shrimps - soak and pound coarsely
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
3 bird's eyes chillies

some bacon chips - cut to smaller pieces
2 eggs - beaten
1.5 tbsp of rice bran oil
a dash of grounded white pepper
salt to taste
sliced spring onions for garnishing


Heat oil in a non stick frying pan, add in the pounded ingredients and stir fry till fragrant. Add in the bacon chips and continue to stir fry till bacon chips are crispy and fragrant. Add in the cooked rice and stir fry till well combined.  Push rice aside  and pour in beaten eggs in the center and cook till the eggs are half cooked , push back the rice and fry till eggs are well combined into the rice.  Give it a quick stir fry till rice is dancing on the pan. Add white pepper and salt to taste.   Dish up and garnish with sliced spring onions.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Simple Dry Curry Crabs

Yay! I finally managed to cook dry curry crabs. It was so good that I will definitely cook this again for my Piggies when they come back for their holidays.    I bought two sea crabs from the market and thought of cooking crab curry with pineapple but on second thought, I changed my mind and cook dry curry with the crabs. I googled for a simple one and found this recipe which I think will be great and simple enough for me. I gave it a tweak by adding, lemongrass and some freshly grounded chilli paste with turmeric which I  always keep in a jar for emergency use in the fridge. The recipe calls for curry powder only :) and as usual, I like to add fresh grounded chilli paste for color , extra heat and deeper taste.  This is the most easy to cook dry curry and the result is a satisfying one.  One whole crab for my Wildboar and the other one for myself :)   We used our fingers to de-shell the crabs and the flavorful curry paste sticks to our fingers.  Now I know what  fingerlicking good means.  We practically licked the paste off our yummy good! A keeper for sure. A simple dry curry dish yet can taste awesomely good ! Thank you Patsy for the recipe :)

Baba's fish curry powder , freshly ground chilli paste with turmeric,
spices are pounded ginger, shallots and garlic, curry leaves is a must
and I plucked them from my lil' space

stir fry the pounded spice and curry paste and curry leaves, lemongrass with
rice bran oil till fragrant and till the oil separated from the paste
before adding in the crabs

Add in the crabs and cooked till the curry paste has thicken and reduce

it taste awesomely good, I am glad I managed to get it right
Wildboar says it is really good and that is all that matters :)

we practically licked off all the curry paste from our fingers 
mmmmm....waste not ..right?

the crabs are big and meaty, fresh and sweet...

Simple Dry Curry Crabs 


2 large sea crabs - clean and remove gills - leave crab as whole
2 heaped tbsp of Baba’s fish curry powder - mix with 1 tbsp of water into a paste
1 heaped tbsp of fresh ground chilli + turmeric paste

1inch ginger *

5 shallots*

4 cloves garlic*
(pound the * ingredients till fine)
1 lemongrass - use white part only  - lightly crushed
2 sprigs of curry leaves

2 tablespoons of cooking oil * I used rice bran oil
1/4 cup of water
a tsp of sugar  
salt to taste


  1. Clean the crab , remove gills,  - leave crab as whole.
  2. Pound the ingredients marked * with a mortar and pestle or with a food processor. Make sure that the spice paste is finely blended or pounded.
  3. Heat up wok and add cooking oil.
  4. Stir fry the pounded ingredient , lemongrass, curry leaves and curry powder and fresh chilli paste till fragrant .
  5. Add the crab and 1/4 cup of water and do a quick stir. Cover the wok with its cover for 5 minutes.
  6. Add in sugar, a little salt to taste and continue stirring for about 2 minutes or until the crab  has turned red and is cooked and the paste dried.
  7. Dish up and serve hot.

A BLESSED EASTER to all my Christian friends
 God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone,
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!
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